I, for one, am disappointed with the Review’s recent coverage of the WSGA. Early in the semester I had gone to the editor of the Review and requested that they cover to the Senate meetings. I felt that the student body would like to know how their Student Activity Fee is being spent and the lack of debate that was taking place on major expenditures. While Travis Perry is in regular attendance at the meetings, it took a heated debate to get any news coverage.
In the Nov 10 edition of the Review, Perry wrote two very good articles explaining two very important debates that took place in the Senate. These debates were heated. While some might call them drama filled, others might call them progress. Many members of the Senate were unhappy about decisions that had been made and chose to voice their concerns during debate. The point is, the Senators care about what is going on and they are speaking up and speaking out.
However, the Letter from the Editor, entitled “WSGA internal battles are petty” was written in bad judgment. It was a cheap shot at the WSGA and it was a dis-service to students. Very little of what was written in that article is factually based, but rather speculation. In fact, the editor of the Review hasn’t even attended a Senate meeting that I’m aware of. She didn’t quote any Senators or Executive Staff. She merely speculates that the trouble might stem from the outdoor stage issue or that it might be “a select group of people who are upset about the outcome of an election.” She then goes on to suggest that a few select Senators are “immature” and that they are trying to “avenge” something. No facts. No names. Just unfounded attacks, that only serve to discredit the WSGA and undermine the confidence of the student body in this organization.
Next, the Editor offers up suggestions on what WSGA should be doing while simultaneously attacking the outdoor stage proposal that was passed (and paid for) last year. Unfortunately it isn’t “issues and events like these that undermine the credibility of WSGA”; it is un-informed, biased media, printing speculation and half-truths to a student body that is likewise un-informed because this same paper never cared to write about the good things WSGA does.
There are now 34 Senators on WSGA. Almost half of these are new Senators. We are all learning. We are all working very hard. I for one am impressed at the level of debate that is taking place. From what I can tell, this has the potential to be one of the best Administrations and Senates in a long time. We aren’t simply voting yes to everything that comes up. We are questioning the merit of every expenditure and event to make sure that the Student Activity Fee is being spent wisely. Last year, the WSGA exhausted the Reserves account that had been accumulating for years and ran out of funding for student organizations before the end of the school year. I am willing to bet that this doesn’t happen this year (even with a drop in enrollment). Last year the Senate seemed to give the Administration a pass by voting yes on everything. This year, Senators are asking questions and challenging the Administration instead of taking everything at face value. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There wasn’t any shouting, threats, violence or beheadings, so I’m not sure what the Editor means when she asks that we “criticize [our] leaders in a civilized fashion?”